Cultural and linguistic disparities in dental utilisation in New South Wales, Australia

Kanchan Marcus, Madhan Balasubramanian, Stephanie Short, Woosung Sohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the patterns and predictors of dental utilisation in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-CALD groups in New South Wales. Design: Secondary analysis of the 2013 and 2015 NSW Adult Population Health Survey (n=24,707). Main outcome: Dental utilisation, defined as a dental visit within the last 12 months. CALD groups were defined using country of birth and language. Andersen’s theoretical model was used. Chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for potential confounding. Sample weights adjusted for sampling design. Results: Most (69%) of the population were Australian born; 20% spoke a language other than English at home. Dental utilisation was 58.9% and 63.9% for CALD and non-CALD groups respectively. The foreign-born non-English speaking group had the highest level of education (60%) but lower levels of dental utilisation (OR:0.81, CI 0.69-0.94) than all groups. Australian born non-English speakers had similar levels of dental utilisation to the reference group (OR:1.27, CI 0.99-1.63). Conclusion: There are significant disparities in dental care utilisation among CALD populations. Foreign born, non-English speaking CALD migrants, and people experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, are at greatest risk of inadequate dental utilisation. Furthermore, the combination of predisposing factors, language and cultural barriers compound disparities in oral health care utilisation. This data highlights the need for oral healthcare services that are sensitive to population needs, to reduce disparities among CALD communities residing in NSW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • CALD
  • Dental utilisation
  • Epidemiology
  • Healthcare disparities
  • Oral Health
  • Migrants


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